Monday, February 06, 2012

The Harper Government

Stephen Harper once stated he would not run deficit budgets. Well, where are the balanced budgets? The Harper Government reports that they will not balance their budget until 2014. It will likely be later. What happened to fiscal responsibility? What happened to transparency? What happened to honesty? The Conservative Party violated Canadian election laws during their 2006 campaign and finally pleaded guilty in court paid a small fine and no one went to jail.

Stephen Harper has failed to reform the Senate. He once held the position that he would never appoint anyone to the Senate not first elected in some form. He also once held the position he would not appoint anyone from the Senate to Cabinet. Stephen Harper, in his first Cabinet in 2006, appointed a liberal in the name of David Emerson to the Senate and into Cabinet in one move. Where is the elected Senate he once supported? Where is Senate reform?

The Harper Government’s tax cuts have come in the form of tax credits that fail to assist low income Canadians who pay no taxes. Consider how this affects fire fighters and kids in sport or arts. It is lower income Canadians who need tax relief. 10 million Canadians will not benefit from a tax credit. Now expect a 1.2 billion-tax increase on the Employment Insurance payroll the Harper Government plans to introduce on January 1, 2012.

Rail Service plays an important role regarding Canadian transportation. Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) are failing to meet expectations of shippers. The Harper government completed a Rail Freight Service Review in 2010 that was three years in the making. The Review identified deficiencies in how CN and CP fail to meet reasonable shipper expectations. Is The Harper Government acting to address identified deficiencies in how the two railways move freight in Canada?

The Harper Government is now embroiled in a hotly debated discussion on pension reform. Where did that come from? Was that in the Conservative Party campaign at the last election? Stephen Harper waded into the debate with remarks he made while in Switzerland. If he knew his intentions regarding his remarks then he should come clear with Canadians and let the rest of us in on his intentions. For now, the Harper Government seems to be in full retreat in the House of Commons. The Harper Government will need to attain the moral high ground before they proceed with any pension reforms. That will mean addressing the matter of MP pensions that are currently outrageous, as you will find in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Report. This would have to come first before attacking pensions like the Old Age Security and the linked Guaranteed Income Supplement. An even greater concern is the Harper Government’s intentions regarding the Public Service pensions.

Canadians handed the Harper Government a majority government at the last election. We are now beginning to see what Prime Minister; Stephen Harper intends to do with his majority government.

Enjoy your government and Have a Great Day!